Parts Unlimited will be the major sponsor for Sam Wheeler and his motorcycle streamliner in his quest to set a new motorcycle land speed record. Sam Wheeler of Arcadia, CA who is considered to be the best designer/constructor/driver in the motorcycle Land Speed Record (LSR) game, will attempt to break the current motorcycle land speed record of 376.156 MPH on the Bonneville Salt Flats this fall. With good weather and salt conditions, Sam feels he will be capable of exceeding 400 MPH.
Sam has over 50 years of motorcycle LSR experience. He built his first streamliner with some friends in high school. Sam’s present liner has one of the most aerodynamic shapes in LSR racing, and for this new attempt he plans to almost double his horsepower. Sam is switching from a Kawasaki KZ 1100 engine to a Suzuki Hayabusa 1300 engine that will be built by Bryon Hines, of Vance and Hines. The turbo charging system will be built by Terry Kizer of Mr. Turbo. Sam explains his changes in a 7 minute video you can see below.
Fred Fox (Parts Unlimited CEO) has always admired Sam’s streamliner. When he discovered that Sam was thinking about a major revision to the proven streamliner with more horsepower, a new drive system, and a new rear tire, Fred made the decision to get on board and help turn Sam’s dream to a reality.
“Sam has a brilliant plan to break this record. I was impressed that he had designed almost every component on computer aided drawing. It was all very well thought out.” said Fox. "One look at his ideas, and I was hooked. As a mechanical engineer, I find the challenge and Sam’s solutions nothing short of brilliant. We are happy and honored to help Sam Wheeler. This is typical of how we support the sport of motorcycling, and it’s extra nice with a great guy and a very big goal.”
Fox then sought the help of Terry Vance at Vance & Hines to furnish support for the pit crew and turned to Performance Machine to build the new rear wheel. Fred helped convince Goodyear to supply their very special Land Speed Record tires. Other sponsors currently include Dynojet, Saddlemen, Belray, ICON, Z1R, Roland Sands Designs, Alpinestars and UPS (Parts Unlimited and Parts Europe’s primary shipper). EZ Hook was given a prime sponsor logo location on the tail of the streamliner in appreciation for their many years of supporting Sam’s efforts.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am to have Parts Unlimited join our effort. They really support the motorcycle sport and have fun doing it. Fred Fox came to my shop in December and we talked for hours about what it would take to get this record. He is 100% committed to working with us to finish the job.” said Sam Wheeler.
The Sam Wheeler streamliner is considered to be the most technically advanced and meticulously constructed motorcycle streamliner in the World. The main competitors’ motorcycle streamliners are Denis Manning’s Seven and Mike Akatiff’s Ack Attack. Manning and Akatiff have traded records back and forth since 2006 when both of them topped the existing record during the same week time trial. Wheeler had the fastest one-way time in that event, but crash damage prevented him from doing the mandatory second run. Many knowledgeable observers feel that Sam’s streamliner definitely has the potential to break the existing record. Any new challenger to the record will need the capability of going over 400 miles an hour. Sam’s major competition presently is Mike Ackatiff who is the current world record holder.
Sam hopes to run at Bonneville this fall if the conditions are right and everything is ready to go. A world record is the average of 2 runs – one in each direction on a 12 mile course. The center mile has timing lights. The runs must be done on the same day with a maximum of 2 hours elapsed time between the runs. At 300 MPH approaching the timed mile it takes less than 10 seconds to cover a mile.